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NFLPA, Ezekiel Elliott seek emergency stay on ruling

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  • By Around The NFL staff NFL.com
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NFL Players Association lawyers representing Ezekiel Elliott filed expedited appeal and emergency injunction requests with the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday in an effort to get the Dallas Cowboys running back on the field as soon as possible.

The NFLPA's filing comes two days after U.S. District Court Judge Katherine P. Failla denied its request for a preliminary injunction, reinstating Elliott's six-game suspension. The union is hoping to maintain the "status quo" and prevent the NFL from enforcing the suspension by getting an emergency stay on the decision.

On Thursday, the NFL filed with the Second Circuit its opposition to the NFLPA's motion for an injunction, arguing "there is no basis here for the extraordinary remedy of an injunction pending appeal."

The league also wrote, "the NFLPA has provided no compelling reason to alter the status quo and provide Elliott with the precise relief that he tried and failed to receive below."

Although the 2nd Circuit offers Elliott the best chance to return to the Cowboys this season, his odds of success are growing smaller, according to NFL Network legal analyst Gabe Feldman. The 2nd Circuit ruled against Tom Brady during the Deflategate case and Failla repeatedly cited precedents established by the Second Circuit in that case in her decision to not grant the union's preliminary injunction request.

Unless his lawyers can reverse the suspension on appeal or get an emergency injunction pending the appeal, Elliott will likely miss the next six games against the Chiefs, Atlanta Falcons, Philadelphia Eagles, Los Angeles Chargers, Redskins and New York Giants before being eligible to return in Week 15 against the Oakland Raiders on Dec. 17.

In her ruling Monday, Failla found the NFLPA failed to establish, among other things, the allegations of fundamental unfairness it raised against the NFL after Elliott's ban was upheld in arbitration under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement. She also found that the steps the NFL undertook in suspending Elliott fell in line with federal labor laws, and wrote the Brady decision established precedent in "rejecting arguments similar to those here."

Elliott was suspended by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in August following a year-long investigation into domestic violence allegations made by Tiffany Thompson, his former girlfriend. The league concluded he violated its personal conduct policy, which mandates a six-game suspension for first-time domestic violence violations. Elliott, 22, was never charged and has denied wrongdoing.

The NFL wants to enforce Elliott's suspension this season and confirm Goodell's authority to issue punishment based on "conduct detrimental" to the league as mandated in Article 46 of the collective bargaining agreement.

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